The Ludowici City Council fired Ludowici Police Department Officer Raymond Govero on Tuesday after charges were brought against him.
The unanimous vote was on the recommendation of LPD Chief T.J. Gaskin, who said Govero was on administrative leave after being arrested Jan. 27 for an alleged altercation with his minor daughter. At that time, Govero was charged with one count of battery family violence and four counts of influencing a witness.
Govero also was charged with cruelty to children by a grand jury.
At his arraignment, Govero pled not guilty to all charges and is free on bond.
It was the second time in less than a year that a supervisor recommended firing Govero. In December, Richard Robertson, who was chief at that time, asked that Govero be fired, but he was placed on administrative leave.
Also at the meeting, Mayor James Fuller reported that Frank McClelland Jr. vacated his District 3 council seat in May when he qualified to run for sheriff.
McClelland, who wasn’t at the meeting, later said, “When I qualified to run for re-election last year, I didn’t plan on running for sheriff, even though some people have tried to say different. But after Sheriff (Cecil) Nobles passed away, I started having a lot of people ask me to run…
“I appreciate the support that I have received being on the city council all of these years, and I will continue to do all that I can to help the city in any way that I can.”
City clerk Cindy McClelland said at the meeting that September was the earliest a special election could be held. Resident Janis Goode said District 3 should not be without a representative for four months and suggested the seat be placed on the July ballot. Councilman Mark Chesser said that was a good idea as it would save the cost of a special election.
Fuller said there still would be costs because it would be a city election. He also doesn’t want it on the same day as the county’s primaries because it would create confusion. Councilwoman Mary Hamilton moved to table the matter to get more information from the Long County Board of Election. The vote tied as Gwen Davis joined Hamilton while Johnny Manning and Chesser voted no. Fuller broke the tie in favor of tabling.